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Barton headed to NJCAA mens basketball tournament
spt mmNJCAA Celebration 2
Barton Coach Craig Fletchall is hugged by TyDarius Harris after the Cougars were selected to the NJCAA National Tournament. Fletchall, a native of Hutchinson, will be coaching at the national tournament for the first time in his 13 years at Barton and 17 years as a coach in the NJCAA. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO BCC Public Relations

It’s not time to put the uniforms up just yet.
The Barton men’s basketball team is headed to the NJCAA National Tournament.
The Cougars earned one of the eight at-large bids when the brackets were announced Monday. Barton will take on traditional power Tyler next week in first round play. That contest will take place at 10 am Monday.
It will be the Cougars first trip NJCAA Tournament since 2001 and the fourth in school history.
For Barton veteran coach Craig Fletchall it will be his first trip the National Tournament in his 13 seasons with the Cougars and his 18th overall in the NJCAA.
“I almost at loss for words,” Coach Fletchall said. “For myself, it’s a great feeling to finally get to coach in the national tournament, in the town I grew up in. It’s very emotional for me. I feel really blessed.
“For this team, I am so happy for them. This is a special group of guys. I could not be more proud of what they have accomplished this year.”
The reward for the winner of that first round game – the top seed in the tournament. Indian Hills (33-0) awaits the Barton/Tyler winner Tuesday at 2 p.m..
It took just minutes into the selection show for the Cougars to find out their fate. Barton’s name was on the first bracket released.
The Cougars (27-6) are the 16th seed and the Apaches (26-6) the 17th seed. Tyler earned an automatic bid by winning Region 14.
Barton lost in the semifinals of the Region VI tournament to Hutchinson (28-6). Coffeyville (29-4) won the Region VI title. Hutchinson also earned an at-large bid, giving Region VI three teams competing in the National Tournament.
Coffeyville earned the No. 5 seed in the tournament will and play the winner of the Connors State/Central Georgia Tech game. The Red Ravens will play Wednesday at 2 p.m..
Hutchinson was seeded 11th and will take on No. 22 seed Cape Fear at Noon on Tuesday.
The winner of that contest will play Wednesday at 8p.m. against No. 6 Florida Southwestern.
The Cougars were selected as an at-large despite several teams ahead of them in the rankings not being picked. The reason for that, as explained during the selection show, is the two committees are completely different.
The actual tournament selection committee had a list of criteria they were following, that including the strength of a team’s schedule.
Barton was the next to lowest at-large seed with Otero (28-4) being seeded 19th. Three at-large teams were among the top eight seeds that received first round byes.

NJCAA Men’s Basketball Bracket

First Round
Monday, March 19 at Sports Arena in Hutchinson
16 Barton (27-6) v 17 Tyler (26-6), 10 am
9 Trinity Valley (27-4) v 24 Baltimore City, Noon
15 Western Nebraska (26-7) v 18 Holmes (24-4), 2 p.m.
10 Southern Idaho (27-5) 23 Snead State (25-7), 4:30 p.m.
13 South Plains (23-8) v 20 Highland (26-7), 6:30 p.m.
12 Connors State (29-3) v 21 Central Ga. Tech (25-8), 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 20 at Sports Arena in Hutchinson
14 Motlow State (22-7) v 19 Otero (28-4), 10 am
11 Hutchinson (28-6) v 22 Cape Fear (21-11), Noon

Second Round
Tuesday, March 20 at Sports Arena in Hutchinson
1 Indian Hills (33-0) v Barton/Tyler winner, 2 p.m.
8 Eastern Florida (27-4) v Trinity Valley/Baltimore winner, 4:30 p.m.
2 Northwest Florida (30-2) v W Nebraska/Holmes winner, 6:30 p.m.
7 Odessa (28-4) v So Idaho/Snead St winner, 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 21 at Sports Arena in Hutchinson
4 Salt Lake (30-3) v So Plains/Highland winner, Noon
5 Coffeyville (29-4) v Connors St/Central Ga winner, 2 p.m.
3 Vincennes (32-1) v Motlow St/Otero winner, 6 p.m.
6 Florida Southwest (29-2) v Hutch/Cape Fear winner, 8 p.m.

Thursday, March 22 at Sports Arena in Hutchinson
1 seed bracket v 8 seed bracket,
2 seed bracket v 7 seed bracket,
2 p.m.
4 seed bracket v 5 seed bracket,
6 p.m.
3 seed bracket v 6 seed bracket,
8 p.m.

Friday, March 23 at Sports Arena in Hutchinson
National semifinal one, 6 p.m.
National semifinals two, 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 24 at Sports Arena in Hutchinson
NJCAA National Championship,
7 p.m.
Third place game at 5 p.m.